It’s easy to forget about our middle names. Since they aren’t referenced that often, two people can go for some time without ever knowing what the other’s middle name is.
The same is true when it comes to our favorite celebrities. We can be fans of theirs for years, but spend all of that time without ever having a clue what their middle names are.
Well we’re about to end that mystery for you when it comes to your favorite country stars! From Willie Nelson to Carrie Underwood, we’re going to reveal the middle names of a whole bunch of country artists. Head down below to learn them all!
Willie Nelson was born on April 29, 1933 in Abbott, Texas to his parents Myrle Marie and Ira Doyle Nelson. Author Joe Nick Patoski writes in his biography on Nelson, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, that his birth wasn’t recorded by a doctor until the following day.
In his book, Joe also reveals the meaning behind Willie’s first and middle name, which is “Hugh.” As Patoski explained, Willie’s first and middle names were chosen by his cousin Mildred, who picked the middle name “Hugh” in honor of her late brother.
As Waylon Jennings‘ oldest son Terry wrote in his autobiography, Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad, it was a Jennings tradition for the firstborn son in each family to carry the initials W.A. It was a tradition that Waylon broke when Terry was born, much to his parents’ dismay.
So when Waylon was born on June 15, 1937 near Littlefield, Texas, his parents Lorene Beatrice and William Albert Jennings already had an outline for what his name would be. As Waylon explained in his autobiography, he was originally named Wayland, and that’s how his name appeared on his birth certificate. But after a Baptist preacher congratulated Lorene for naming him after the Wayland Baptist University, she changed the spelling to Waylon.
As for his middle name? Waylon’s parents chose “Arnold” for that one, and there was no need for a spelling change!
Merle Haggard was born on April 6, 1937 to his parents Flossie Mae and James Francis Haggard in Oildale, California. James had remodeled an old boxcar into a home, and it was in that old boxcar that Merle was born.
Merle was the first child of Flossie and James’ not to have a name starting with an “L,” as his brother and sister were named Lowell and Lillian. When it comes to Merle’s middle name of “Ronald,” the story behind it is unclear. Perhaps that’s because there isn’t one!
Born on January 19, 1946, Dolly Parton was the fourth child of Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton. Over the years, Avie Lee and Robert would go on to welcome eight more children into their tiny Tennessee home.
Avie Lee and Robert chose “Rebecca” as Dolly’s middle name in honor of her maternal great-great-grandmother, who was named Rebecca Whitted. She had passed away 16 years before Dolly was born. Avie Lee and Robert felt that naming their little girl after her was a fitting way to honor her.
No, George Jones‘ middle name was not “No Show,” but that is what people called him back in the day!
George was born on September 12, 1931 in Saratoga, Texas to his parents Clara and George Washington Jones. He had a rough start in life, as a CMT report details. During his delivery, one of the doctors somehow lost his hold on George and dropped him, breaking one of his arms in the process. Ouch!
After the traumatic delivery, it came time to pick a name for the baby boy. George’s parents decided to name him after his father, and chose the middle name “Glenn” to keep the “G” theme going.
Another famous George with another middle name to reveal!
George Strait was born on May 18, 1952 in Poteet, Texas to his parents John Byron Strait, Sr. and Doris Jean Couser. Since George was the second son born into his family, his brother, John Jr., had already been named after his father.
So John Sr. and Doris had to come up with an entirely new name for their second son. They picked “George” as his first name and chose “Harvey” for the middle name, making his full name George Harvey Strait.
Even though he hadn’t been named after his father, George kept the tradition of passing along family names. His son “Bubba” is named George Strait Jr. and Bubba’s son “Harvey” is named George H. Strait, III!
This one will throw some of y’all for a loop! Only Conway Twitty‘s most devoted fans know that his real name wasn’t Conway, or Twitty. In fact, he was born with a different name entirely!
The baby boy that would one day be known as Conway Twitty was born on September 1, 1933 in Friars Point, Mississippi to his parents Velma and Floyd Jenkins. The name he was given at birth was Harold Lloyd Jenkins.
Although the middle name “Lloyd” sounds similar to the first name of Conway’s father, that doesn’t seem to be the reason it was chosen. According to legend, Conway’s great-uncle was the one responsible for naming him, who chose his name as a tribute to his favorite silent movie actor, Harold Lloyd. Imagine how confusing it would have been if there were two famous Harold Lloyds!
In comparison to some of the other artists on this list, Carrie Underwood‘s middle name is quite simple!
Carrie was born on March 10, 1983 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to her parents Carole and Stephen Underwood. The couple kept things short and sweet when they picked “Marie” as the middle name for their youngest daughter.
When Carrie had her son, Isaiah, in 2015, she kept the “M” middle name going, choosing “Michael” after his father, Mike Fisher.
Born on October 17, 1958 in Nenan, Georgia, Alan Jackson was Joseph Eugene and Ruth Musick Jackson’s firstborn and only son. The couple were already parents to four daughters at the time that they welcomed baby Alan into the family.
Knowing the middle name of Alan’s father, it’s easy for you to see how Joseph and Ruth came up with the middle name of “Eugene” for their son. Alan and his wife Denise have three daughters, so Alan never did get the chance to pass the name “Eugene” along himself.
Vince Gill was born on April 12, 1957 in Norman, Oklahoma to his parents Jerene and J. Stanley Gill. His mother already had one son, Bob Coen, who was from a previous marriage.
No story seems to exist that tells the tale of how Vince got his name. We do know that “Vince” is a shortened version of his real first name, Vincent. As for his middle name, “Grant,” maybe his parents just ended up choosing it because it sounds good with “Gill?”
Like Conway Twitty, Luke Bryan was not born with the name that he now goes by. His last name has always been the same though, and his first name actually comes from his real middle name!
Luke was born on July 17, 1976 in Leesburg, Georgia to his parents LeClaire and Tommy Bryan. He was named after his father, and was given the name “Thomas Luther” at birth. People started calling him “Luke,” and the nickname stuck!
Miranda Lambert was born on November 10, 1983 in Longview, Texas to her parents Beverly and Rick Lambert. As Miranda revealed in an interview with Us Weekly, her parents named her “Miranda” in honor of her great-grandmother, Lucy Miranda.
As for her middle name “Leigh,” we don’t know what the story behind it is!
Like Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw professionally goes by a variation of his middle name. Tim was born on May 1, 1967 as the only child of Elizabeth “Betty” Ann D’Agostino and star baseball player Frank Edwin “Tug” McGraw Jr.
Elizabeth and Tug were in a relationship, but never married. Until he met his father, Tim went by the last name “Smith,” which was his stepfather’s last name.
As for his first and middle names, Elizabeth named him Samuel Timothy. Can you imagine if he had decided to go by “Samuel” or “Sam” McGraw instead of Tim?
Reba McEntire‘s entire name is unique, so it only seems fitting that she would have a middle name to match!
Born on March 28, 1955 in McAlester, Oklahoma, Reba’s parents Jacqueline and Clark Vincent McEntire decided to name her after her maternal grandmother, Reba Estelle Smith. As for her middle name, they chose “Nell.” We wonder if that was meant to be a variation of “Estelle?” If so, that’s clever!
Keith Urban was born on October 26, 1967 in Whangarei, New Zealand to his parents Marienne and Robert “Bob” Urban. No story seems to exist that explains how Marienne and Bob settled on the name “Keith” for their youngest son, or why they chose the middle name “Lionel.”
Guess we’re just left to wonder about the history behind Keith’s name!
It’s possible that Blake Shelton may have the most unusual middle name out of any of the other artists on this list!
Born on June 18, 1976 in Ada, Oklahoma, Blake is the youngest son of Dorothy and Richard Shelton. His brother, “Richie” was named after his father, so that left Blake’s parents to come up with a whole new name for him.
No idea how the Sheltons settled on the name “Blake” for their second son, or how they came up with the middle name “Tollison.” The moniker is typically a surname, but is also known to be derived from the name “Thomas.”
There you have it folks…now you know the middle names of some of country music’s biggest stars. Which one surprised you the most, or whose “behind-the-name” story were you the most interested by? Let us know!